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Patriots Vs. Dolphins: New England Learned A Lot About Its Young Defense Monday Night

There's a pretty big difference in the NFL between a 3-1 and a 2-2 record, especially in the tightly-contested AFC East. Which is just one of the many reasons Monday night's win over the Dolphins was so important for New England and its defense, says Pats Pulpit

I also think we learned a lot about the Patriots' defense tonight.  While the bend-but-don't-break defense can be frustrating at times, it can also pay off big.  We saw that with the four interceptions tonight.  The interceptions were due largely in part to the newfound speed of this defense.  We also saw the Patriots shut down Ronnie Brown on the ground (11 for 27), and also get great pressure on Chad Henne.  Jermaine Cunningham, Rob Ninkovich, and Tully Banta-Cain all had great games rushing the passer.  Devin McCourty, aside from his one pass interference penalty, had a great game in coverage.  We'll get more into who played well tomorrow.

Big road win, big division win.  The Patriots outplayed the Dolphins on offense, defense, and special teams.  They outcoached the Dolphins.  And for once, they showed the energy that we're used to seeing from the Patriots, but haven't seen in quite some time.  That's one hell of a way to head into the bye week, don't you think?

And a bye week it will be -- the players are off until Thursday.